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January 4, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibited some unapproved uses of antibiotics in livestock on Wednesday. Farmers will no longer be able to administer a class of antibiotics called cephalosporins to cattle, pigs, chicken and turkeys in unapproved doses or frequencies, or as a means of preventing disease, the agency said. Also prohibited: using drugs not originally intended for use in livestock. Some limited extra-label use will still be permitted, including prescription drugs in less-commonly eaten animals such as rabbits and ducks.
September 2, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Efforts to discourage overuse of antibiotics in kids have been successful -- but not successful enough, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday. Their study, which was published in the health agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that antibiotic prescribing rates for kids 14 and younger who had visited physician offices dropped 24% between 1993-94 and 2007-08, from 300 antibiotic courses to 229 antibiotics courses per 1,000 office visits.  Doctors prescribed antibiotics 26% less often for kids with sore throats, and 19% less often for kids with colds.
August 29, 2011
Acnemedications and treatments fill drug store shelves, but some acne sufferers may have a tough time discerning which are the best to use. A paper published online in the journal the Lancet finds that certain studies on acne remedies are few and far between. In a seminar in the journal researchers from the U.S. and the U.K. reviewed the current slate of treatments available, including topical treatments such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids and topical antibiotics, and oral treatments such as antibiotics, contraceptives and isotretinoin (the last typically used to treat severe cases of acne)
August 24, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
We've all heard that the overuse of antibiotics is making them less effective and fueling the rise of dangerous drug-resistant bacteria. But did you know it may also be fueling the rise of obesity, diabetes, allergies and asthma? So says Dr. Martin Blaser , microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at New York University Langone Medical Center who studies the myriad bacteria that live on and in our bodies. He explains his theory in a commentary published in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature.
August 6, 2011
Buyers of poultry products from a Cargill processing plant in Arkansas may have gotten a little something extra with their turkey burgers: a strain of antibiotic-resistant salmonella that is implicated in the death of a Sacramento man and the illness of 79 others around the country. In response, Cargill recalled 36 million pounds of turkey products last week, among the largest food recalls ever. But just because that turkey is off the shelves doesn't mean it's safe to eat undercooked poultry — or any of a host of other foods potentially contaminated by antibiotic-resistant "superbugs.
July 25, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Eating cranberries to help prevent urinary tract infections is an old home remedy that has stood the test of time. But women who have recurrent urinary tract infections will find more relief from antibiotics, researchers said Monday. An estimated 30% of premenopausal women develop chronic urinary tract infections. A low dose of the antibiotic trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is often prescribed to women who have repeated urinary tract infections in order to prevent recurrences. Typically, however, doctors try to avoid long-term use of antibiotics because it can lead to antibiotic resistance.
July 12, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, HealthKey / For the Booster Shots blog
A new strain of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea should be enough to scare anyone who's playing the field without full protection. But the worries might not stop there. Like gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis are sexually transmitted diseases that are caused by bacteria. And anytime you have a bacterial disease, there's at least some chance that the germs could eventually find a way to outsmart antibiotics. So what are the odds that chlamydia or syphilis could turn into the next super germs?
July 11, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
Japanese and European researchers have identified a new strain of Neisseria gonorroeae that is exceptionally resistant to cephalosporins, the last remaining family of antibiotics available to treat the sexually transmitted disease. Although physicians have identified only a handful of infections by the new strain of gonorrhea, called H041, they fear that its ability to grow even in the presence of the cephalosporins may allow it to spread rapidly throughout the world. "This is a large public health problem and the era of untreatable gonorrhea may now have been initiated," the team wrote in their abstract for the report presented Sunday at a Quebec City meeting of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research.
June 3, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA, has been discovered in cows and humans in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe, researchers reported Thursday. The new strain disturbs researchers because it evades one of the most commonly used tests to detect MRSA, which could lead physicians to prescribe the wrong antibiotics to treat the infection. The new strain of the bacterium is still relatively rare and, so far, no deaths have been attributed to it, the team reported in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.
May 17, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
In what is being hailed as the biggest breakthrough since the 1960s in treatment for latent tuberculosis — noninfectious TB without symptoms — researchers said Monday that weekly doses of a cocktail of antibiotics can cure the infection in only three months as effectively as the standard treatment of daily drugs for nine months. By reducing the number of pills and shortening the time required for therapy, the new regimen increased the proportion of patients who completed treatment from 69% to 82%. By increasing the success rate of therapy, the regimen should reduce spread of the disease and the risk of inducing resistance to TB drugs, experts said.
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